Gov. Wolf Celebrates Pennie and Medicaid Anniversaries; Reinforces Importance of Affordable, Quality Health Care for Pennsylvanians
July 30, 2021
Governor Tom Wolf joined state and local officials to celebrate the 56th anniversary of Medicaid and the 2nd anniversary of Pennsylvania’s new state-based health insurance marketplace, known as Pennie, and to encourage Pennsylvanians to visit pennie.com for affordable coverage options.
“Access to quality, affordable health care is a right and I have been fighting to expand health care coverage for Pennsylvanians since day one,” said Gov. Wolf. “My administration has implemented collaborative and innovative programs to improve health care outcomes for Pennsylvanians – including Medicaid expansion and Pennie. I was pleased to work with the General Assembly on bipartisan legislation to introduce Pennie – a bill that was adopted unanimously.”
In July 2019, Gov. Wolf signed legislation establishing the state-based marketplace. Pennie replaces healthcare.gov as Pennsylvania’s official destination for shopping for quality health insurance plans and the only source for financial assistance to help with the cost of coverage and care. Currently, there are more than 336,000 Pennie customers throughout the commonwealth. Since the COVID-19 Enrollment Period opened on February 15, 2021, Pennie has seen over 55,000 enrollments.
Funding through the American Rescue Plan lowers health insurance premiums on Pennie. Now, approximately 270,000 recipients are receiving financial assistance for their insurance coverage through Pennie. If a recipient was previously eligible for financial assistance, like advance premium tax credits, to lower the cost of health coverage, they will be eligible for additional financial assistance to further reduce the cost of coverage. Additionally, if a recipient did not qualify for financial assistance because their income was too high, they will now qualify. Pennsylvanians without health care coverage have until August 15 to enroll in Pennie’s COVID-19 Enrollment Period and receive financial relief. Individuals should visit www.pennie.com to learn more or call Pennie customer care at 1-844-844-8040.
“Quality, comprehensive health coverage has never been more within reach than now, nor has it been more important as COVID-19 continues to keep our health and well-being front of mind,” said Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman. “I urge individuals to think about their health care and insurance needs and, if they need coverage, to shop around on Pennie to ensure they have a plan that meets their needs.”
“Pennie strongly believes no one in Pennsylvania should be without the peace of mind that comes with having health coverage,” said Zach Sherman, Pennie Executive Director. “Thanks to the significant savings currently available through the American Rescue Plan, coverage has never been more in reach for those who once thought it was unobtainable due to cost. Of the nearly 340,000 Pennie customers, 9 out of ten are receiving financial assistance and over 50% are paying less than $1 per month! We strongly encourage anyone seeking coverage to visit pennie.com and enroll before the current COVID-19 Enrollment Period deadline on August 15.”
Additionally, in 2015, Gov. Wolf expanded access to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, opening eligibility for health coverage for thousands of Pennsylvanians. There are currently more than 3 million Medicaid recipients in Pennsylvania, with more than 970,000 eligible due to Medicaid expansion.
“All Pennsylvanians should have access to affordable, quality health care coverage. Because of the Medicaid expansion, more than 970,000 people in Pennsylvania have health care today who, without this, may have gone uninsured,” said DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “As we all continue to navigate this pandemic and our economic recovery, health care coverage will help create a stable ground necessary to rebuild and move forward. Medicaid expansion helps make that possible.”